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Old 02-09-2010, 02:32 PM #1
indy007
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FAA regulations in regards to aircraft usage during a scenario

Regs on how to fly.

Quote:
91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.
Opinion piece from professional pilot:

Quote:
What constitutes a congested area is unclear from the legal perspective of FAA. Also exactly how many constitute an "open air assembly of persons". It is subject to interpretation. There are areas that are clearly congested areas, over a city for instance, but other areas that the feds might interpret as congested, over a rural sub-division for example. While there is an exception for helicopters my experience with the FAA would indicate that exchanging paint balls with people on the ground would be the type of thing that would make them uneasy.
Regs on shooting stuff.

Quote:
91.15 Dropping objects.

No pilot in command of a civil aircraft may allow any object to be dropped from that aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or property. However, this section does not prohibit the dropping of any object if reasonable precautions are taken to avoid injury or damage to persons or property.


91.13 Careless or reckless operation.

(a) Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

Opinion from above pilot, agreed with by several other professional, full-time pilots.

Quote:
This is the regulation of last resort for Uncle Fa. If they can't find something to exactly fit. If they don't like what's going on they can usually apply this.

The consequences are "civil penalties" (fines) and/or "certificate sanctions" (suspension or revocation). Any pilot that is concerned about his license would be an idiot to do this.
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Last edited by indy007 : 02-09-2010 at 02:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:55 PM #2
BlackAngelSS
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paintballs arent dropped they are fired. Plus they are not meant to cause injury. so i dont see a problem. Itsnt paintball dumbed down enough for the crybabies already?
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:11 PM #3
indy007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackAngelSS View Post
paintballs arent dropped they are fired. Plus they are not meant to cause injury. so i dont see a problem. Itsnt paintball dumbed down enough for the crybabies already?
Wow, you went to public school didn't you?

This doesn't necessarily mean you can't use an aircraft or helicopter in a paintball game. The pilot just needs to abide by the pertinent FAA regulations for shuttling players around the field, and be willing to flirt with the rules. A promoter just has to find insurance for it. That's the upside.

Actually shooting back & forth would need to be cleared by your local FAA reps. I doubt they would approve, but it's possible. If they don't approve, you're asking a pilot to risk his license, which could very well be his livelihood. That's the downside.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:26 PM #4
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Why are you even posting this. One field has been doing this for years without a problem.Its been fun for all the players. why mess with a good thing?
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:28 PM #5
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"No pilot in command of a civil aircraft may allow any object to be dropped from that aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or property. However, this section does not prohibit the dropping of any object if reasonable precautions are taken to avoid injury or damage to persons or property"

like i said before the language of this wouldnt prohibit you from shooting a paintball gun at people who agree to it.In my opinion of course

Paintballs are not meant to hurt people. and a mask is reasonable precaution

the game im thinking of does not allow you to shoot at the aircraft.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:39 PM #6
indy007
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Originally Posted by BlackAngelSS View Post
Why are you even posting this. One field has been doing this for years without a problem.Its been fun for all the players. why mess with a good thing?
So.. by posting the law... I'm trying to mess up somebody's event. Classic.

Grow up. More than one field wants to bring in aviation. There are laws and regulations that cover it. If you do not act precisely within those laws, the first accident will result in the destruction of the producer's business, big law suits, permanent grounding of the pilot, etc.

Promoters should be operating with all relevant knowledge. It's that simple. There is a legal way to do it, and a very questionable way. If they choose to break the law to provide entertainment, I'm not here to stop them. I'm just here to point out the consequences of taking that gamble. Very straight forward. The opinions of the existing pilots I asked are just that, opinions, and clearly labeled as such. Just like your opinion on what is safe & unsafe for players on the ground. Ultimately, it's not up to anybody but the FAA.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:31 PM #7
Slyd3r.
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I'm pretty sure it is ILLEGAL to shoot at an aircraft, the consequences of which are probably arrest and prosecution. I don't see anything that would prohibit an aircraft from shooting a paintball down on a player as long as they have a mask.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:44 PM #8
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Yeah since laws are pretty much black and white, the wording they chose would leave a legal loop hole for shooting paintballs out of a helicopter as long as the people being shot at are wearing masks. If someone has a spare $100,000 or so laying around they can get one of these http://www.martinjetpack.com/the-martin-jetpack.aspx
They don't require a pilots license, and skirt around a TON of FAA laws because of their design, fuel capacity, weight, ect. Wouldnt be too hard to jury rig a marker on there somewhere =D
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:29 PM #9
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Originally Posted by LordOderus View Post
Yeah since laws are pretty much black and white, the wording they chose would leave a legal loop hole for shooting paintballs out of a helicopter as long as the people being shot at are wearing masks. If someone has a spare $100,000 or so laying around they can get one of these http://www.martinjetpack.com/the-martin-jetpack.aspx
They don't require a pilots license, and skirt around a TON of FAA laws because of their design, fuel capacity, weight, ect. Wouldnt be too hard to jury rig a marker on there somewhere =D
Genius.

Ultralights used to be exempt. I think some very tiny ones might still be. With the new Sport Pilot rules, damn near everything requires some sort of license. Powered parachutes, powered kites, anything fun with a motor. The up shot is that it only takes 20hrs for an SPL instead of 40+, but it's much more restricted than a PPL.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:23 PM #10
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And here's the shortcut... it's possible to get it approved. Like different cops, approval still boils down to your local FAA guy's attitude. It can be approved more easily if you find a pilot with crop dusting or other low level operations experience. Those guys tend to be a little wilder by nature anyways.

Quote:
6 Provisions relating to flight height limitations
6.2 For the purposes of subparagraph 5.1 (b), the conditions 1 of which must be complied with for an aeroplane to be flown at less than 500 feet above ground level are:
(a) the aeroplane must be flying in the course of actually taking-off or
landing; or
(b) the aeroplane must be flying:
(i) over land that is owned by, or under the control of, the pilot or of
another person (including the Crown) who, or an agent or employee
of whom, has given permission for the flight over the land at such a
height; and
(ii) at a distance of at least 100 metres horizontally from any person
(other than any person associated with the operation of the aeroplane)
and from any public road; or
(c) the pilot of the aeroplane must be engaged in flying training and the
aeroplane must be flying over a part of a flying training area over which
CASA has, under subregulation 141 (1) of the Regulations, authorised
low flying.
7 Approval of flights not complying with flight conditions
7.1 A person who wants to fly an aeroplane to which this section applies
otherwise than in accordance with the flight conditions set out in paragraph 5.1 may apply to CASA for approval of the flight.
7.2 The application must:
(a) be in writing; and
(b) include details of the proposed flight; and
(c) be made at least 28 days before the proposed flight.
7.3 CASA may, by writing, approve the application.
7.4 The approval:
(a) must specify which of the flight conditions set out in paragraph 5.1 do not apply to the use, by the applicant, of the aeroplane in the proposed flight; and (b) may specify conditions to be complied with in relation to the proposed flight.
7.5 If the proposed flight takes place in accordance with the approval (including any conditions specified in the approval in accordance with subparagraph 7.4 (b)), the use by the applicant of the aeroplane in the flight is not subject to the flight conditions specified in the approval in accordance with subparagraph 7.4 (a).
Note 1 Definitions of some expressions used in this section can be found in regulation 2 of the Regulations (subregulation 5 (2) of those Regulations provides for this). Expressions defined in regulation 2 include (for example) ‘acrobatic flight’, ‘agricultural operations’ and ‘certificate of approval’.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:17 PM #11
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At the min. height for a plane, what's the sense of even trying to shoot at it?

I would look into if the chopper gets hit during a hot insertion, aka landing to drop off troops.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:33 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackAngelSS View Post
like i said before the language of this wouldnt prohibit you from shooting a paintball gun at people who agree to it.In my opinion of course

Paintballs are not meant to hurt people. and a mask is reasonable precaution
I see 2 problems with this.

1 - If dropping objects is prohibited, why would shooting them be allowed? For these purposes, shooting a paintball would basically be dropping it at a high velocity.

2 - Even though you're not likely to cause any permanent injury, you're still shooting a projectile at people. Still, a welt could easily be considered an injury, and I really don't think that shooting a paintball marker out of a plane is within the spirit of this law.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:34 PM #13
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being a private pilot and a paintballer..my mind has definitely tried to mix the two before. I take an aviation class in high school and I think it'd be safe to say 80% of the curriculum is youtubing plane crashes. Using aircraft in scenario play just sounds sketchy.

Winds can be a major factor too, and I really can't see a paintball being effective after being shot out of a plane. But someone mentioned earlier a field has been using aircraft for years, and I'm really curious to see how they manage. I think it would be a nice "cool" factor just having an aircraft involved in some games. I think using them to film a game would be great also. I just don't see it with a strategical use (i.e. paintball pew pew gaiting guns being shot out of it, etc)

If there's one thing the FAA is good at, it's being meticulous with details, you will NOT find any loopholes. I mean, just an example of the bull**** for instance; They are raising the price to take the private pilot written exam from 100 to 150. Their reasoning is to deter terrorism. I don't think 50 dollars will make much of a difference.

I just really cant see them letting anyone less than the military shoot paint balls out of an airplane, but it'd be interesting

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Old 02-10-2010, 09:44 AM #14
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I'm a private pilot, an avid paintball, and in the military - I can see the argument of both sides. Plain and simple, paintballs should not be shot out of aircraft. One of many words that come to mind is "liability". The rules and regulations have been in place for decades; the only reason why it doesn't explicitely say "Projectiles cannot be shot out of an aircraft" is because then more and more rules must be implimented to compliment that addition.

Let's say, hypothetically, you're at a very secluded area, playing paintball with your buddies. You take a very light interpretation of the regs, something that's already frowned upon. I'll even give you the benefit of the doubt - let's say a contracter gave you permission to fire a paintball marker from an aircraft, but all field rules and other regs still apply. If you shoot a paintball at 280 feet per second straight down from 500 feet in the air, it'll hit the ground at roughly 332 fps (disregarding air resistance). Now you're over the max field velocity.

Counter-point: Well, then, I'll lower my velocity.

Point: At 500 feet, you'd have to chrono at 1.57 fps for the paintball to reach the ground at 280 fps. Can your marker fire at 1.57 fps? You're better off throwing a paintball at that speed. Now consult section 91.15.

Counter-point: I'll make something that can measure and shoot paintballs at 1.57 fps.

Point: It'll take 8.7 seconds for the paintball to reach the ground.
Point II: Have you ever been shot on top of the head at 280 feet per second?

I'll save everyone a lecture, but simply put, these rules were written years ago - to update them would be creating more loopholes and a mess. Furthermore I would never risk my pilot's license, which I've worked so hard for, with something as petty as having a buddy "try" and shoot something/someone on the ground with a paintball marker.

My solution? UAV . Rig it to drop paint grenades, bandoliers, what have you. Just please, for the sake of safety and our sport; don't piss off the government.

Edit: I want to add, this is just my $0.02...I am not speaking as a representative for any paintball, FAA, or military representative. Just my personal opinion.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:04 AM #15
indy007
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Originally Posted by gregoh451 View Post
My solution? UAV . Rig it to drop paint grenades, bandoliers, what have you. Just please, for the sake of safety and our sport; don't piss off the government.
I'm not a licensed pilot, I just have a little stick time, and know some guys who fly stuff from crop dusters to international heavies.

The problem with UAVs is this... if it's a true UAV, then you need FAA approval to operate over the event. That's pretty sketchy, and I highly doubt flying over the event would be allowed. At best, you'd have to circle the fringes.

If it's a semi-autonomous UAV, where you have an r/c operator in the loop, you're actually more screwed than a true UAV. The guys who insure R/C aircraft is the American Modelers Association. Flying over people is strictly prohibited by their insurance, and their various regulations are heavy on spectator safety.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:13 AM #16
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This is true
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